Other People’s Children

Other People’s Children are well behaved

Other People’s Children listen

Other People’s Children sit nicely

Other People’s Children are polite

Other People’s Children are everything mine are not…. Or at least that’s how it feels on yet another day of negotiating a screaming rabble of small people to School and to playgroups via a coffee shop all the time encountering a seemingly endless stream of immaculately turned out, well behaved Other People’s Children.  My children are not badly behaved; spirited, wilful and noisy, but not badly behaved as such and yet I often find myself looking longingly at children sat next to their parents in a restaurant just colouring or heaven forbid quietly eating.  This leads me to wonder is it that are numbers are stacked heavily in favour of the small people contingent that means it always seems a bit like the circus has come to town or are we actually the disaster area that I often feel we are.  A few weeks ago a lady exclaimed that I had my hands full (the 300th person that day to do so!!) and then she said aren’t they beautifully behaved.  I was genuinely shocked as to me the whole experience of lunch out has felt, as usual, like an exercise in parent torture punctuated by brief spells of calm where I rammed my food into my mouth before the chaos could begin again; as aside I don’t think I have actually ‘tasted’ anything since the twins came along.  I am usually eating whilst breaking up a fight, wiping a dirty face and entertaining a bored child.  I digress….

So shocked was I by a strangers compliment that I wondered am I doing my lovely little people a disservice.  Is it actually true that Other People’s Children are any different to mine or do I just see a snap shot where a child may be behaving and in fact maybe 5 minutes before I arrived maybe they were being awful.  Perhaps whilst I look at them other people are looking at us and thinking the same thing – well maybe not but law of averages probably means that 1 in 4 would be going nuts at any one time.

So my promise to my children now is to not look at Other People’s Children anymore.  My children are loud, funny, slightly nuts, loving, kind and just beautiful so who cares if they are refusing to eat peas loudly or driving their toy car through my pasta – this too shall pass and then I shall look at Other People Children and wish mine were little again

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